Strayer: Vote no on permanent solutions to temporary problemsPublished 11:46am Thursday, November 1, 2012
By Jack Strayer
Whenever five or more people ask me for advice on a specific subject, I consider that subject good material for a column. You won’t be surprised to find this month’s column is about the six statewide ballot proposals.
I am not going to get into any specifics about Proposals One through Six, except to say that the one statewide proposal that is not a proposed constitutional amendment – Proposal One — the Emergency Manager Law — has earned everyone’s support and needs a big yes vote.
An emergency manager is a temporary solution to a temporary problem and is simply good public policy. Vote yes on One!
But please vote a big no on Proposal Two, Three, Four, Five and Six. The issues they represent are not the problem. The fact they are proposed state constitutional amendments is the problem. These five issues are nothing but permanent solutions to temporary problems. If you have heard that line before, it is because it is the definition of suicide.
For full disclosure, I want to tell you that, for four years of my career, I was a Congressional staffer; for the next six years, I was a legislative staffer for the Michigan House of Representatives; for the next 25 years, I was a registered federal lobbyist on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Referendums offering state constitutional amendments are simply bad for the people. They allow our state legislators and other elected officials to abdicate their responsibilities on tough issues by taking the vote to the people. It is the legislature’s responsibility to pass laws and then run on its record.
I know from experience that state ballot proposals amending the state constitution lead to windfall profits for lobbyists, trade associations and special interest groups.
Resist the urge to support a constitutional amendment that provides a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Prevent public policy suicide and vote no on Proposals Two through Six!